The agency’s community programming division, Aiken Youth Empowerment is currently recruiting youth for the Level UP! job readiness program. Youth ages 14-21 can participate in work experience during their spring and summer break. 

Youth will be placed in job sites throughout Aiken County with the hopes they will gain on-the-job training while earning money. As part of the program, youth will be asked to attend weekly career readiness workshops and complete assignments on a virtual platform. 

Through the support of local businesses, the United Way of Aiken’s Women in Philanthropy grant, and the Community Foundation of the CSRA, this is a unique opportunity to impact the workforce in Aiken County from its foundation, young people.  

“Working with this specific population of youth in the community also has a noticeable impact on the financial health of their family households.  We are excited to continue this effort”, says Carmen Landy, CEO of Helping Hands. 

Interested individuals can begin the application process by contacting Tiiu Goode, Director of Community Programming, at or 803-648-3456 extension 105. 

Youth must have a birth certificate, social security card, and be Medicaid eligible to be considered for this program.  

Businesses interested in participating in this program may also reach out to Tiiu Goode.. 

Aiken Youth Empowerment, a division of Helping Hands, Inc, focuses on educating youths in the community to engage in healthy behaviors that result in promising futures. The purpose of the Level UP! program is to provide a constant and stable environment for youth in foster care and other eligible young people in the community. The program offers a nurturing curriculum that includes an employment and career-shadowing component, youth-focused workshops, and year-round mentoring and involvement in other youth initiatives.